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An Artist’s Fear of Rejection – Artist Rejection Letters

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An Artist’s Fear of Rejection – Artist Rejection Letters

Published by under For Artists, Front Page Featured on 2012/04/28


Ugh, the artist rejection letter… The dreaded part of the business of art!

This title says artists but really this is a common fear shared between anyone who puts him or herself “out there” for the world to see. For an artist in the business of art however, you will be forced to open yourself up for artist rejection letters and criticism more often then most. You will need to learn to distance yourself from criticism while remaining professional and taking constructive criticism to better your craft.

Listen to what people say – even if its hard – when they comment on your work as this is the best way to gather clues for future planning!

Here are some do’s and don’ts I gathered from hearing many artist rejection stories:

Is the person you are showing your work to clearly having a bad or hectic day?  The only thing you can do about this is to be concise and well organized so you are not possibly adding an unorganized presentation to an already hectic day. If you make it easy to say yes you will probably get a yes!

Are they rejecting your work based on the way you have presented it to them rather then the work itself? Know your audience and their expectations. When you call to set up the appointment ask how you should prepare your work to be shown. Its always a good idea to understand what they want to see before you get there. You don’t want to bring slides when they expect the real thing.

Did you mispronounce their name or arrive late for your appointment?  Not knowing their name and/or showing up late is a sure way to turn people off in any industry.

Did you do all the appropriate research required for the appointment? This is a big one that is often missed. It is important you know about the gallery/buyer/representative before you take time out of their busy schedules to meet. You will find that not every gallery or rep is the right match for your style of work. You should only make appointments when you know your work fits with what they show. It also never hurts to do a little research on them so you can talk about why you want to work with them over any other person or place.

As an artist you need to remember to not take criticism personally. If you truly know that your art is one of the best, what does it matter what other people say? But, if you find yourself really upset every time someone says something about your art perhaps you know on some level there is room for improvement.

The more you open yourself up to receive criticism and understand that criticism is a tool that can help you grow your art career the easier it will get to take. Just remember to be professional, remove emotion from the situation and search for the constructive comments that you can apply to better your art, and forget the rest!


Photo Credit
Image via anankkml


As the founder of Artistically Connected I am passionate about art and business. I enjoy working with artists at all stages of their craft and learning along the way.

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